March 29, 2018 / 2:43 AM / 23 days ago

Ex-boss of China's Anbang Insurance pleads for leniency in trial for economic crimes

SHANGHAI, March 29 (Reuters) - The former chairman of Anbang Insurance Group Co Ltd requested leniency at the end of his trial in China for alleged economic crimes including fraud and embezzlement, according to court statements.

Wu Xiaohui said he understood and regretted the crimes he stood accused of, as arguments wrapped up in his high-profile trial in Shanghai on Wednesday.

The court said Wu had “expressed deep self-reflection, understanding of and regret for the crimes, and expressed deep remorse for his actions” in his closing statement, according to an online post seen by Reuters on Thursday.

“(He) thanked the justice system for its help, education and remedy, and requested a light sentence,” it said.

The trial comes a month after the government seized control of Anbang, owner of New York’s iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel and other marquee properties around the world.

Wu had refuted the charges and raised objections during the proceedings, according to court statements on Wednesday.

The online post on the Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People’s Court’s microblog feed, which went up on Wednesday evening, said the court would issue a verdict at a later date.

Founded in 2004, Anbang became one of the most aggressive investors behind a wave of overseas acquisitions by China’s firms in recent years that have attracted the attention of global regulators and investors. (Reporting by John Ruwitch; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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